The doctors’ opinion is clear: for Archie Battersbee12 years, there is no more hope of salvation, it is “Highly likely” that the boy is “brain dead”. For this, on Monday 13 June a British judge issued the terrible sentence: unplug that keeps him alive. And it doesn’t matter if the family is against it.
After the decision, outside the Royal London Hospital where the little boy is hospitalized, a crowd of people gathered to attend a prayer vigil and support Hollie Dance, the mother of the British teenager found unconscious in his home in Southend. , in Essex, on 7 April. Archie suffered brain damage during a domestic accident, according to Dance linked to an online challenge. Since then he has never regained consciousness. The woman said she was “devastated” by the London High Court ruling, and she said the family intends to appeal the verdict.
The ruling of the High Court: “Archie died at noon on May 31, doctors can interrupt treatment”
The boy’s case has come to Supreme Court of the United Kingdom when the medical team treating him approached the court claiming they had enough elements to support one irreversible diagnosis of brain cell death, defined as “highly probable”. For this reason, in the first instance, the court ruled: “I authorize the doctors at Royal London Hospital to cease mechanical ventilation of Archie Battersbee, to extubate him, to stop administering drugs and not to attempt any cardiopulmonary resuscitation on him when his heartbeat or breathing effort ceases. The steps I have indicated above are legitimate “. In the written sentence, the judge Justice Arbuthnot later wrote that “If Archie remains on mechanical ventilation, the likely outcome for him is sudden death and the prospects for recovery are nil. She has no pleasure in living and his brain damage is irrecoverable. His position will not improve“. Arbuthnot finally concluded by establishing that Archie died at noon on May 31 based on MRI scans taken that day.
The family’s reply: “Ad was not given enough time, disgusted at not having been heard”
Archie’s mother, Holly Danceand the father Paul Battersbee disagree with the hospital nor with the sentence of the Supreme Court and have announced that they want to appealwith the support of lawyers and various associations, such as the Christian Legal Center. In a statement released after the court’s decision, Dance said: “I am devastated and extremely disappointed from the sentence handed down today after weeks of legal battles and I intend to stay by my son’s bed. My mom gut tells me Archie is still here. A diagnosis of probable death is not enough “, added Hollie, saying to herself”disgusted by the attitude of the judge and the doctors“, Since“ Archie’s heart is still beating ”and he“ shook my hand ”.
The family accuses the health and judicial authorities of not having taken their wishes into consideration to continue caring for their baby and added that she “does not believe Archie has been given enough time”. “As long as it is not God’s will, I will not accept that he goes away. I know of miracles where people have come back from brain dead, ”concluded Archie’s mom, who on Facebook invited people to join her in a vigil outside the hospital.
Vigilance and previous cases: “unplugging” is a well-established practice
“Your support has been incredible and I am very lucky to have Archie as a son. It made me a proud mother“Wrote Holly Dance, the mom of Archie Battersbee, 12 in a cerebral coma. “I ask all religious leaders, supporters of all communities and politicians to participate in the wakefulness and to pray for my son that God will hear his voice and grant him healing. Thank you”. The demonstration was held in front of the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel, where the child is hospitalized, at around 7pm on Monday evening. Speaking after Monday’s ruling, Andrea Williams, director of the Christian Legal Centerwho supports the Battersbees said, “We will continue to stand by the family and pray for a miracle.”
Little Archie’s is only the latest, in chronological order, of similar and equally serious cases which have been concluded, on the basis of the regulations and a an established practice in the UK, with sentences in favor of hospitals that wanted to interrupt care for children or babies, even against the opposition of parents or other relatives. It is natural, then, to make a comparison instead with Italy, where before ‘unplug’Instead, years go by, and it is always the patient, or whoever takes his place, has to ask to be able to access it, in opposition to the medical opinion and with little – or late – judicial support.